Creativity Ups and Downs

It’s been a long week. I attended an auction, my published book went live on Amazon and Kindle, we’ve been sick, it was the first full week of school, and to top it off this morning we had a leak in the kitchen ceiling!

About 6 years ago I wrote a children’s book about an ancient house and a treasure hunt. I devoted a lot of time during each previous summer break to getting someone to publish it. I was dreading the same work this summer when a friend told me about a writing club the arts council had.  There I learned all about CreateSpace and I took publishing into my own hands! I will write another post about the process, but it was incredibly empowering! My book, “The Secret of Sterling House” is now available for purchase! There is a Kindle version too!


School started and things are going pretty well. As usual my class is very large and requires a lot of extra time and work, but I am also blessed with volunteers and a wonderful paraprofessional. Unfortunately my family all came down with some mysterious upper resperatory virus and it’s hanging on and hanging on…

My whole family is exhausted by the end of the day and I have slept both after school and then all night! I’m ready to be well again. Ugh.

We had a Peter Rabbit party Friday where we celebrated learning the procedures and rules.  My class made carrot cakes and we ate them! (The plates are leftovers from our Christmas party last year.)


We drank a record amount of tea with honey this week. The tea trays went up and down the stairs so much I wished we had a dumb waiter.  Maddy cat enjoys the dredges left in the cups. I think we gave her our cold. She sneezed for two days.

Last Saturday I spent the day at an auction.  When I first came to Gradyville I met a lovely lady who ran a small antique shop. We became as good of friends as two introverted people can be. Her shop later became the inspiration for the “Ginger & Pickles” shoppe I want to run when I’m retired.

Well she and her husband both passed away unexpectedly last year and their house and contents went on the auction block.  I was sad, but excited at the same time. Sad because death and auctions are always sort of morose and surreal at the same time and excited because I would get to see inside an old house.  I missed my friend and wanted something to remember her by as well. I waited all day because the piece I wanted was almost last. Which gave me plenty of time to visit and enjoy the House.  I won’t post pictures because it’s still too soon and I don’t want to invade anyone’s privacy. Just know it was very interesting, and I loved the butlers pantry but did not take a picture!!!! Ugh.

Finally, at 1:40 the lovely chaise lounge I wanted was auctioned. I spent every cent of my meager budget on it. I had never live bid on something before and I was terribly nervous, but the lady bidding against me must not have noticed.  She gave up right when I got to my limit! Yay! Little did I know I was to spend the rest of the week coughing and feeling awful in that wonderful chair!!! Also my sweet MIL bought me the most lovely cushy wool carpet in my favorite ocean green color!

I’m looking a bit worried that this chair will go over my limit!

All week I had been looking forward to the weekend so I could photograph a studio tour and work on my next book. My husband and I are still sick today and then we went to fix breakfast.


There was a leak in the ceiling.

We are quite used to leaks. This house has the oldest plumbing and it was held together with flex seal and prayers. The first three years here we spent every spare penny on slowly replacing it or making it limp through till we got more money. Most of it is done and the parts that aren’t can wait, but this ceiling should not be leaking.  Our 2nd floor bath is right over this part of the kitchen which I think was our original butler’s pantry. (Our kitchen used to be tiny rooms and in 1966 it was all knocked into one big room and redone.)  We had the bath plumbing completely redone about three years ago.  Needless to say this was a huge creativity killer!

Plumbing ain’t cheap and sometimes I think old house lovers are plumbers’ favorite people! My husband decided to investigate and so he hacked into the ceiling… and then went to our DS’s room to take the panel down that hid the bath plumbing…


And he found…..


Which didn’t really surprise me.  I am by now familiar with the foibles and quirks of this place and we have a mystery leak in the basement.  It’s been there 7 years and no one can figure out where it comes from. It’s only a tiny drip every once in a while. The bucket under it never has more than 1” of water in it. We will be gutting and redoing our downstairs bath in a couple of years which I think is the culprit. Maybe then we will know!

Also my DD’s room has a leak in the ceiling from a window above her on the 3rd floor that we have tried to fix for YEARS but could never trace. Finally we just caulked the storm window closed.  We think it stopped, but we have thought that before!

Anyway finally with our two brains we figured it out. It’s water running over the back edge of the tub from when the shower is being used. The amateur tile job is horrible and I guess water has run down and under the tiles and slowly soaked the drywall until a stain appeared.  Thankfully we are having new tile in this bathroom and a claw foot tub installed this fall.

So now that my Saturday is halfway over I’m going to attempt to lasso that streak of creativity and go make something!

My amazing husband and the mysterious leaking dormer window. We are 3 stories in the air on a tiny flat roof ledge, tarring the roof seams to see if that stops the leak in our DD’s ceiling.

With love and buckets catching drips,

Jaime 🙂

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